tv [untitled] August 14, 2013 12:30pm-1:01pm PDT
it could lead to hearings. politically, it has resonance. millions of people are now squeezed in the middle class. they are feeling a check or two away from near poverty. there is more openness to think hard about what has happened in a country that is the richest country in the world. this is where we try to reset the and narrative -- reset the narrative, the idea that america is. . it is not broke. our priorities are broken. there is a misplaced obsession with debt and deficits as the national emergency of our time. that has driven the story line
inside the beltway. we did a story on how the austerity cost rules washington. it is a portrait of think tanks, philanthropists and others who have framed in a way so it is hard to tell an alternative story. that has shifted a little because of new voices and forces emerging from the 99% or what ever you want to call it. >> you had better have twitter and facebook involved in the project. >> we do, absolutely. we have all kinds of new media. i agree you need to use all of that. it has been a very powerful force. we use all of that at "the nation. " we have a correspondent right about this in a politically. at occupy wall street in new
york a few miles from our office, one thing that struck our correspondent was how many young people came to the square and were caught up in conversations, talking to people and the general assembly's, conversations. so many people have lived in front of their laptop or been part of the new media that the ability to communicate and talk and sit around -- you cannot do it all the time, but that has been lost. you need the online organizing, but you need offline, too. encampments become difficult to maintain, but you can find ways to work together in occupying. >> do you think the technology has changed things more fundamentally?
it has changed everything about the way we live. >> look at wisconsin or tahrir square. people will come to the square. instead of 5000 people, you had 50,000 people. there is a power tool i.d.. it is a good question. without the people power, technology and new media is a sterile force and not as powerful. >> you mentioned people power. covered the fall of marcos and rise of a keynote -- aquino in
the philippines. you have a vicious dictator and a pious, sincere, well-meaning is the original political leader. that was not true. she did not care about poor people. she probably had never met one even though 70% of the population lived under the poverty line. he had actually done some things that were useful and helpful while he pocketed a piece of the action. then i went to a of salvador where oliver stone and others romanticized the guerrilla movement. they were killing mayors in cold blood. there were guerrilla camps up in the mountains. women in fatigues would be serving coffee and grumbling that the guys were running the show. there is a black-and-white problem in the way we look at
things. there is a polarization going on. you talk about having to strengthen over here. we have to guard against these guys. life is more complicated than that. >> i agree. a theme that runs through my book is many questions, not all answers. i do not think in black-and- white terms. here is a real power structure analysis. you need countervailing forces. we have had such one-sided power, corporate power. if you go back 50 years, you had labor, business, a government
that was functioning, more of a balance. 1% may be too simplistic. a lot of 1%ers should not be vilified. you can be a 1% with the 99%. those you call out and hold accountable are those who want to cut taxes for the rich and no fair share who want to live in the privatized environment and not care about the civic situation. that is truly damaging to the possibility of already beleaguered ideals. nothing is simple. i cover the former soviet union and russia. i could go on at great length
about how boris yeltsin undermined democracy and became a hero democracy. lech walnsa in many ways was not the. working bloke many made him not to be. gorbachev was a visionary who came to power. he saw he needed to change the country. he used his powers to do that. he withdrew from afghanistan. he called for nuclear abolition. he worked with ronald reagan. he understood you need political solutions, not military solutions. when the soviet troops were ready to come out of the barracks so the berlin wall would not come down, he told them to stay in the barracks, the empire is going. we cannot be a country that will
be one of glasnost and perestroika if we live the way we have. it is the 20th anniversary of the soviet union, the end of the soviet union. many people in russia blame him for the economic conditions in which they live. they blame him for the end of the country that many felt was the cradle to grave welfare state instead of a totalitarian system. i have great respect for him. you can also see people's weaknesses. you talked about all salvador. what about the priests and nuns? to me, that is the people power in that situation. flm was a revolutionary force seeking power.
the people power were trying to alleviate poverty, trying to find balance. >> liberation theology had a stronger effect on the underlying society. i have to read this. you are listening to the commonwealth of california radio program. our guest is katrina vander huegen editor and publisher of "the nation." i watched you on colbert. he asked you to repudiate the obama three times before the cock crows. [laughter] >> he said at the end that i
filibustered him. >> he went after you. >> one of the bright lights in the bush era was when he spoke of the white house correspondents' dinner. you rarely see someone in your face. it was at that moment when the country was -- it was really a rebuke to journalists. remember? >> i went on his show as a journalist. i was sweating. he explains from then on he will be in character. he said i am a person who has willful disregard for everything you believe in.
[laughter] >> you kind of have to do a mindset check. it is very confusing. >> last year, the obama administration had a package of recommendations that appeared to be dead on arrival. why? >> examples-simpson? >> i am assuming. -- is that the bulls-simpson? -- simpson-bowles? >> i am assuming. >> i think there was pushed back in the right way. the commission was focused on cuts and not investments. the great deficit in this country is the investment deficit, the investment in people and infrastructure. there were attempts to revive it. it was a super committee proposal. i think it is a good thing the super committee failed to reach an agreement. we will see where that goes.
it was not a fair deal. there was so little revenue and so much padding. -- so much cutting. someone was writing the other day that the anti-tax mania is at an all-time low. reagan was willing to raise taxes. it shows how extreme. someone said the of the grover norquist may be the most powerful person in america. the new pledge he has held canada is to. he has held candidates -- the new pledge he has held the new candidates to is keeping millions -- it has a role to
play in a country rich in the land grant colleges, highways, bridges. i understand the bridge out here is about to be built. i am all for infrastructure. >> obama in a way has to be the luckiest politician. if you look at the republican lineup -- [laughter] it is like michael dukakis in an oversized tank hat. >> the idea that newt gingrich is now at the top of the heap. >> you do not want to be the top because they get shot out. >> it is seems like anybody but romney.
>> herman cain is a breath of fresh air. [laughter] >> i am not going to reassess him as he reassesses his campaign. >> herman cain is fabulous. >> newt gingrich -- i am going to get serious on you. newt gingrich is an error lobbyist -- uber lobbyist. barney frank talk about michele bachmann. he also called out newt gingrich and said he held him responsible for the demonization of opponents that has contributed to the atmosphere we live in today. i do think he came into the house. he slashed all of the caucasus and civility.
we are seeing this. this is a man who a few days ago talked about education reform in the context of firing the janitors in schools and putting the kids to work. a lot of the media called that unconventional. [laughter] let's repeal child labor laws that we fought hard for in this country. bring in dickens to chronicle it. i do think there is the cruelty amidst the reality show debates we have been subjected to. who is running this, entertainment or news? there is a cruelty when people cheer that someone dies without health care or bbo a soldier that dies in iraq.
>> i am joking about herman cain. he is a guy who cannot hide the truth well. that makes me more comfortable with the idea that i know who he is about so i can make a decision. >> are you talking about the women coming forward or the fact that he said he did not know what he would do about afghanistan when he became president and would check it out? [laughter] >> we have had presidents who have been reelected like that. we talked about transparency in the value to our society. -- and the value to our society. chris matthews was here peddling his latest jfk book. he is a huge fan. was jfk under estimated?
that is the debate going on. talk about controlling the message. in the obama administration, we talk about their view of the press. they are so controlling of the press. >> they have not done a good job. >> that was a campaign that was brilliant in its use of new media. that again is striking. every president uses the medium of their own time. radio, tv with kennedy. we have not seen this white house effectively harness and the -- any of the media. >> goldman sachs. >> one of the reasons i supported president obama was i did not want to see larry summers in the white house. [laughter]
with hillary clinton, until the end of her campaign, there was not a sense of how she could bring her history to bear. it was very much a restoration ist campaign. he fell if you are going to get the clinton administration part 3. -- you felt as if you were going to get the clinton administration part 3. if you feel it was such a crisis and panic at that time as many say it was coming out of the calamitous bush administration into the tar, bringing in a team of rivals as obama talked about, all you had was larry summers and tim geithner. both of them have their control over the policies that led to the crisis. in my mind, that opened the door to the tea party.
it opened the door to right-wing populism. people saw in this white house favoritism towards goldman sachs and the banks. the problem was the left populism has not emerged until now. for too long, many felt with the bomb in the white house that things would be sorted out. that is where movements become important. every administration in modern times has had to deal with insurgency's or movements on its left and right. reagan in many ways was a movement president. i say that with contempt for what he did in damage to this country. you need to see the pendulum has now swung.
the tea party in many ways has lost a lot of this mojo because of overreach. it is out of sync with the values of so many people. we could have seen that in the summer of 2009. one of tea party people stood up and said "government, take your hands off my medicare." you see how internalized those programs are. >> who does not want to watch a car wreck? >> it has done a lot of damage. >> this tweet says the obama administration is responsible for the tea party. >> it opened a backing tree that hot summer of 2009 -- it opened up a vacuum for it. that hot summer of 2009.
the president could have mobilized. there were people mobilizing on their own. a pragmatic, progressive president would have understood the power of having people in those places to combat a message that was full of misinformation. remember teh death panels? part of that is on us to fight back and expose that. only after labor day did the president come forward and begin to speak again to the people and explain where they were moving with the compromise to help program. >> even nixon went to the washington monument to meet with the anti-war demonstrators. >> i right in the book about this a little.
if senator kennedy had been alive, he was so critical to the election of president obama. his endorsement in the pivotal period with the turbulence in turmoil early after south carolina, i think he would have been important inside the system as a push towards something bigger and would have pushed to have more connection to outside the beltway. obama it is now traveling on the country. he is forced to because of the election. if you sit inside the beltway too long and get in the backroom deals -- >> even movements can be cloistered. i remember a dinner during the george w. bush administration in
southern california. it was norman lear and his wife, larry david, bob scheer. they were sitting around w eeping in their expensive soup about the fact that we were living in hell. rupert murdoch on the media. george bush was president. norman lear had his pulse on american culture for 30 years. why cannot figure out how to deal -- deliver a message that is important and happening? >> that is important. we can find messages that speak to people where they are. they can also have some satire like stewart or colbert.
there is the idea of exposing with satire. it opens people's eyes to the hypocrisy and corruption of our politics. the problem is you want the captivating stories and images and vocabulary, but a lot of the colbert-stewart stuff is so absurd and over the top that people do not want to get engaged. >> that is where a large number of people get their news. >> i think the obama campaign was a pivotal point, bringing people in. now they leave. there is the possibility that people will come back in. i agree with that movements also
have their problems. i think it is a moment of people waking up to the possibility of engagement in different ways, where they are, in communities, finding ways -- it is important not to weep in your soup. i am not into the the trail sweepstakes -- betrayal sweepstakes. you want to do the reporting and investigation to cull out abuses. you also want to put out ideas. just to do denunciations will lead to this apartment -- disempowerment that our adversaries seek. >> you did not answer the 1%
question. what tax rate would you be willing to be taxed at if people at that level are all taxed at a rate? >> i would go back to the eisenhower rate. you know what eisenhower was taxing people out? 70% to 90%. you want to go back to a rate where there is a supertax on the very rich and millionaires. you want to get rid of the loopholes. look at the capital gains tax of 15%. we are taxing work the barely taxing wealth region but barely tax and wealth. that is the wrong priority. -- we're taxing work but barely
taxing wealth. the robin hood taxes an idea whose time has come. radicals light nicholke nicolasy and angela merkel have a tax on currency transactions that would bring in $350 billion a year. some of my heroes are the nurses of this country. national nurses united heal america. tax-loss there are a slew -- tax on wall street. there are a slew of good things that 1%ers are for. >> he is not really offering of a lot. >> he is talking about being
taxed less than his assistant. there is a group of patriotic millionaires. it is the belief that you owe backe to a country that has helped to make you what you are. steve jobs -- we had a tough column in the last issue. it was tough not about apple labor practices in china. here you had a man of great wealth was talking about cutting taxes and never really gave of his philanthropic wealth. poor bill gates, he gets nailed for being so square. you can disagree with some things. but he is out there. >> all of them out there now came a little late to the party.
they got very rich, very young. i wanted to leave some time for audience questions. i have not read more questions from the audience because they are also good. usually it is the guy with the aluminum hat on getting cia messages. [laughter] not really. if you want to line up, we have a few more minutes at the microphones. we will take a few questions. please make sure that you make them questions. >> i have been interested in americorps and other related programs. from what i can tell, you do not support it or talk about it very much. the tea party is advocating limiting national service. president obama campaigned to expand to 250,000. senator kennedy helped to pass
the expansion. i was wondering what role "the nation" can play in helping to support the program. >> we've done a lot of work around expanding doctors into rural community centers. americorps is a good program. all of those should be supported. we have not done as much. there has been controversy at the magazine. i am more of a supporter of teach for america than my colleagues. they are good programs. >> what could we do collectively as the next up for occupy wall street? -- next step for occupy wall street? >>